Sunday, January 30, 2011

Century Quest 2011

Well, here it is 2011 and as January comes to a close it is time to start my quest for the 100th "California Triple Crown" Double Century.
92  down and 8 to go.

I have been doing double centuries since 1987 and have completed over 100 to date but there was not a organized entity until 1990 when the Triple Crown was started by my friend Chuck Bramwell.  Much thanks go to Chuck and his crew for the awesome job they have done.

After some easy times during the holidays dialing back the training and just enjoying myself, it is time to get on the ball and go for it!
As the month of January ends I have got my miles up to 200 miles per week with my first event a month away.
Still I feel like a slacker compared to the miles some of my friends put in on long distance brevets and such. I think that will be something I have to check out and do more often.
I have been mostly training in the hills above my home in the San Fernando Valley. The Santa Monica Mountains are just an epic place to ride to say the least. My favorite ride is an early sunrise climb up to Saddle Peak. There are many roads on which to get there off of Mulholland Hwy or you can take Topanga Canyon to Fernwood Pacific Drive. Some longer than others. From the top the sunrise is spectacular. On a good California winter day you can see Santa Monica Bay, Catalina Island, Palos Verdes Peninsula, West LA, Downtown LA, Mount Baldy along the San Gabriel Mountain Range and the Santa Ana Mountains. Just some epic views on a good day. I love it!

Santa Monica Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula
 My plans this year are a little different than past years and somewhat more ambitious. I am doing the Spring Death Valley Double for the first time in many years plus some events that I have never done before, some which are going to be the toughest I've done if I go by what others have said about them.
I have to complete my last 8 events before the Triple Crown Breakfast in September.

This is my itinerary for this year:
1. Death Valley Double
2. Solvang Spring Double
3. Hemet Double
4. Devil Mountain Double (my first time)
5. Central Coast Double
6. Davis Double (Haven't done this one since the 90's)
7. Heartbreak Double
8. Alta Alpina 8 Pass Challenge (my first time and the toughest)
9. Grand Tour Triple or Quad Century (not sure yet)
10. White Mountain Double
11. Knoxville Fall Classic (Triple Crown Breakfast here the next day)
12. Bass Lake Double (maybe)
13. Solvang Fall Double
14. Borrego Double

The toughest are most definitely going to be Devil Mountain and Alta Alpina. Devil Mountain is up in
the East Bay area near Pleasanton California. It got its name because you climb Mount Diablo as part of the course. Alta Alpina is insane but will be the most beautiful of all the rides. All mountain passes in and around the mountains not far from the Lake Tahoe area of California.
Although no double century is easy, the least difficult will be Hemet and Davis. I have not done Davis in many years.

I have really enjoyed some great rides in training so far since the first of the year. I have been putting in more miles than I normally do for this time of year. Most of my riding has been in the Santa Monica's as I said earlier. I also took the opportunity to ride to the Cochella Valley near Palm Springs for my nieces wedding instead of driving. It was great training for the desert riding to come in Death Valley. It ended up being a 188 mile jaunt and I felt great.

Ginny and I on Pacific Coast Hwy

I really have been enjoying riding with my wife Ginny on the tandem. The tandem is great training and we just love riding it.

Nicole and I on the Christmas Century

I did a 100 mile event with Daughter Nicole before Christmas on the tandem and we made a great team. I really want to do a double with her on the tandem this year or next.

Cherisse with her "Gamecocks" jersey a couple of years ago

My oldest Daughter Cherisse did the Grand Tour Double Century with me in 1998 on the tandem when she was still in high school. She did an incredible job and we had a time of under 12 hours. (under 11 ride what a stoker!! and only 18)

I really love riding will all my girls.

Now as we start the second month of the year I think I am ready for what is to come. I am lighter than I have been after the holidays and ready to rumble.

Wish me luck. I will be keeping you posted on all the events with pictures and a blog with a story.

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